Project Management

Are You Ready for Your Next Project?

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Before you officially begin your next project, consider whether you can answer the following questions:

  • Are you aware of why the project is being launched? If not, find out! Ask the project sponsor why this particular project is being launched? What is the goal of the project? To what strategic organizational goal is the project aligned? This information enables you to understand the priority level of the project as well as have information that enables for securing resources and “selling” the project to team members and stakeholders.
  • Do you have the knowledge to run the project? What are your strengths and weaknesses regarding the project? When you understand areas that you are not as knowledgeable as you might be or may have limited skills, you can use that knowledge to ensure you recruit team members who can help fill in the gaps. You don’t need to be an expert in every area of the project, others will have expertise you do not. Rely on their expertise to ensure a successful project.
  • How do stakeholders feel about the project? Are they champions of the project? Are they against it? How do you know? If you don’t know, find out! Ask stakeholders their opinion about the project. Are they excited about it or worried? If worried, dive deeper to understand why so that you can address those concerns and get stakeholders on board with the project.
  • Can the project be implemented as is? If it is a large, complex initiative, you might consider breaking down the project into smaller components to be more easily managed and to enable for quicker successes.
  • How will the project “stick” when complete? What reinforcements will be put in place to ensure the project end result “sticks?” Will training be needed? What incentives are necessary? What processes will need to change? Consider what will need to happen to ensure the project sticks so that you can prepare early.

What else do you do to get ready for your projects?

Posted by Gina Abudi on: September 11, 2017 02:38 PM | Permalink

Comments (6)

Please login or join to subscribe to this item
Great check list of questions, Gina.

Thank you Stephane - the more we know about a project the better prepared we are to manage it overall!

1) Buy vs Build is an important consideration when launching new projects . Is the service/product or result to be achieved able to be produced with the resources in-house or do we need to draw on the expertise of an external agency/company?

This then drives the project procurement management and contracts management discussion.

2) If it's an IT project, how well does it fit within the current technology landscape of the company ? Is this project going to plug an existing gap or do we need to modify the existing business processes to accommodate the new capability?

3) Change Management . Change in Business processes, operating procedures, manpower, automation vs manual

4) Risks and Opportunities

Thanks, Deepesh. For questions such as buy vs build and fit for IT projects, I like to get the team involved. The more involved the better the problem solving and decision making.

The first question is such a powerful yet often overlooked one. I think too often a project is assumed to have been aligned with a strategic goal and the question of whether this project is the best way to achieve that goal is not fully vetted.

Very true, Michael! I teach in the MS in Project Management program at Granite State College and for the first course in the program - PM800 - an overview of project management course - I ensure there is an understanding of the need to truly understand what your project is all about - how it is aligned to strategy, how it solves a business problem, etc.

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